Not the oldest (that would be the Victoria Bridge) and not the busiest (that would be the Champlain Bridge) arguably the most iconic bridge to connect the island of Montreal to its South Shore is the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
Spanning almost 3.5km from end-to-end, and towering over 100m above the St-Lawrence Seaway (with 50m clearance), this 89-year-old structure looms over Montreal. Almost nobody alive today remembers Montreal without it.
Built to last, it was actually finished ahead of time and under budget!
Unlike most other major transportation infrastructure in Montreal, the Jacques-Cartier is a testament to the power of regular maintenance and upkeep.
It’s also the only major bridge crossing to the South Shore that not only accommodates cars, but also pedestrians, with sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. In 2001, the sidewalk on the western side of the bridge was converted to a multi-use pathway, for both cyclists and pedestrians.
A fresh coat of paint and some good light will keep the ol’ JC looking great for years to come.
There are some parts that still need some paint and TLC. These are located near the centre on Île Ste-Hélène. Let’s just say they add character.